Catholic priest pepper-sprayed during confessions at Texas cathedral

Confessional Quisquilia/Shutterstock

A Catholic priest who serves at St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral in Amarillo, Texas, was pepper-sprayed while hearing confessions last week, according to a statement from the parish. 

The parish said in a statement on Facebook that “someone dealing with mental health issues” sprayed rector Father Tony Neusch with the irritant while he was hearing confessions.

Police are investigating the incident. It’s unclear whether officers have identified a suspect at this time.

“I am okay and do not require medical attention,” Neusch said in the statement.

The cathedral has temporarily suspended its twice-a-week regular confessions, with priests only hearing confessions by appointment for the time being.

Regular confessions will resume after the cathedral installs security cameras in the chapel, according to the statement. 

“I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but the safety of our confessors and those waiting to receive the sacrament needs to be preserved,” Neusch said in the statement.

The priest declined comment when reached by CNA on Monday.

The Amarillo Police Department, meanwhile, did not immediately provide the police report to CNA and declined to comment on the incident.

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